Louisiana legislators decided Tuesday not to return to Baton Rouge later this week to attempt to override Gov. John Bel Edwards vetoes of 29 bills during the recent legislative session.
Lawmakers had until midnight Tuesday to send in ballots saying they saw no need for the override session. Twenty-five senators and 39 representatives sent in ballots saying no session was necessary, according to legislative staffers. The Senate’s 25 votes is more than the 20 necessary needed to cancel the override session, which was scheduled to begin at noon Saturday. The House, with 39 ballots, came up far short of the 53 necessary to call off the session. But to override a veto requires two-thirds majorities in both chambers: 70 in the House and 26 in the Senate.
Senate President Page Cortez, R-Lafayette, and House Speaker Clay Schexnayder, R-Gonzales, issued a letter saying the veto session would not be held. Cortez voted not to hold the session. Schexnayder didn’t vote, which means he favored returning for an override session.
Under state law, an override session is automatic unless a majority of lawmakers in either chamber says it’s not necessary.
Letter canceling the veto override session
Historically, a majority of representatives or senators have sent in ballots saying an override session was unnecessary. But this Republican majority Legislature has convened to override the governor twice and turned bills rejected by the Democratic governor into law. Some of the GOP leadership didn’t want to return to Baton Rouge, saying none of the vetoed bills had enough support to override. Besides lawmakers had been in session pretty much non-stop between early February and mid-June.
But a number of the rank-and-file Republican lawmakers wanted to override some of vetoes and they were urged along by conservative talk radio hosts, bloggers, and pressure groups that influence GOP lawmakers.
Louisiana Senate vote on override session
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